Whether you’re playing Eurovision Bingo or an ESC drinking game (beverage of choice, alcohol optional), here are the recurring themes and annual trends to include. Some have been arguing that the element of surprise has been eliminated thanks to the semi-final shows, but plenty of viewers stick to the final and are blissfully unaware of the performances that await them – and of those they’ve missed out on.
Tragically, Bosnia & Herzegovina’s staging was too much, too Eurovisoon.
The semis also eliminated a highly amusing spaceman, several unsightly jumpsuits (but not all of them), and one silver Eurofox who could do so much better…
Here’s what we’re left with for the final:
Oldies but goodies, aka. “What’s Another Year”
Glitter and sequins, smoke and wind machines, fireworks and acrobats, winks to the camera and key changes are all recurring staples of the biggest song contest in the world.
Choose wisely and only incorporate all of the above in your drinking game rules at your own peril!
Random trends for 2016, aka. “All Kinds of Everything”
- Weird instruments
Sadly, some of the more elaborate musical appliances won’t be making an appearance in the finals (Greece, we hardly knew ye – and your funny little fiddle), but please do drink (or mark your Bingo cards) whenever anything other than a guitar makes an appearance.
- Costume reveals
The presto-change-o dramatic costume reveal is clearly a dying art, but to what this year’s contest lacks in numbers, it makes up for with the cracktacular Croatian costume that starts out looking like a tribute to last year’s tree obsession and (ta-dah!) winds up looking like… a Christmas tree decoration? Actually, I may just have unravelled the meaning of this particular performance. Mind: blown.
- Black bondage
Already big in 2015, black leather is more bondage than goth this year. Again, one of the best visual executions of this theme (Iceland) didn’t make the cut, but the likes of Serbia and Bulgaria will be keeping things kinky.
- Elsa, again
Another carry-over from last year, with Disney princesses galore. Norway and Switzerland were out to win the Elsa vote, but neither qualified. Austria, on the other hand, has a Europop princess wishing herself to a land far, far away, whilst standing on a brick road that is only a couple of Pantone shades removed from yellow. Whether she is supposed to be Glinda or not, the paradise conjured on the screen behind her was clearly designed to appeal to primary school kids up past their bedtime.
- Bonus points
>>>Tempo changes are the new key changes. Some of them are well deployed, others pointless and terrible. Drink! Slowly, then quickly.
>>>”Refugees welcome” is the new world peace. This is obviously to be applauded – and to be celebrated with a drink.
>>>(Almost-)nudity is rampant. Drink if someone gets (a lot) of their kit off, or makes a joke about doing so.
>>>Drink something sickly sweet every time someone mentions how devastatingly handsome Måns Zelmerlöw is (especially if it’s coming from him).
>>>Neck a beer every time someone complains/makes a joke about Australia’s participation. Mark my words, the Aussies will have the last laugh – they’re in it to win it.
My favourites this year, from “I actually like this song, but I don’t think it will win,” via “I think this is what the people want but have a bad track record of accurately guessing what that might be,” to “I wish, but it won’t happen.”